A lap dancing chain is to challenge the power of Scotland’s local authorities to impose their morality on licensed venues after a decision taken in Glasgow to shut a bar.
Brightcrew, which traded under the Spearmint Rhino banner in the city, is seeking to overturn a sheriff’s decision last year to revoke its licence after several dancers stripped naked.
A three-day hearing is now scheduled for the Court of Session and is expected to cost Brightcrew and Glasgow City Council a combined sum of around £70,000.
It comes as Spearmint Rhino announces plans for a venue in Glasgow, although the location and expected timescales are still undisclosed. The US-based chain said that the Glasgow branch which lost its licence in 2009, was an affiliate club with which it is no longer connected.
Industry sources said the real Rhino would be watching developments in the Court of Session intently and that if the decision went against Brightcrew the Rhino can forget all about Glasgow.
The Glasgow club challenging the sheriff court decision is based on Drury Street in the city centre and now called Platinum Lace. It was denied a licence in May 2009 after Glasgow Licensing Board heard how CCTV footage showed two dancers at Spearmint Rhino stripped naked, breaching local rules. The board was told: Officers, while conducting an inspection relative to the code of conduct, viewed premises’ CCTV and witnessed two dancers removing their lower garments to knee level, thereby exposing their genitalia. Officers also witnessed several dancers making considerable contact with patrons while performing.